Morning Action: White House Defends Bergdahl Deal
BERGDAHL. The White House insists that the deal it made for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was done lawfully (sub. req’d):
The Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap was legal, the White House insisted Tuesday, as President Barack Obama defended the deal at a press conference in Poland.
A statement from the White House said the president’s power under the Constitution trumps a law requiring Congress get 30 days notice.
“Delaying the transfer in order to provide the 30-day notice would interfere with the Executive’s performance of two related functions that the Constitution assigns to the President: protecting the lives of Americans abroad and protecting U.S. soldiers,” said Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council. “Because such interference would significantly alter the balance between Congress and the President, and could even raise constitutional concerns, we believe it is fair to conclude that Congress did not intend that the Administration would be barred from taking the action it did in these circumstances.”
It’s not enough to be a newsmaker these days, as the conservative Heritage Foundation surely has been with its vigorous opposition to federal budget deficits, Obamacare, immigrant “amnesty” and same-sex marriage.
Nowadays, you have to cover the news, too. Or so says the Heritage Foundation, which on Tuesday will start doing just that.
CLIMATE CHANGE. The Heritage Foundation’s Nick Loris explains that the EPA’s new emissions regulations won’t help the environment:
Draft regulations released Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency could cut carbon dioxide from existing power plants by 30 percent. Such a drastic cut will amount to a massive energy tax devoid of any benefit.
President Obama warned us it was coming, when he said in in 2008 thatelectricity prices would “necessarily skyrocket” under his cap-and-trade proposal. And when our elected officials rejected that, he said there was more than one way to skin the cat.
But now he’s singing a different tune. Promoting the regulations, Obama said, “Your electricity bills will shrink as these standards spur investment in energy efficiency, cutting waste, and ultimately, we’re going to be saving money for homes and for businesses.”
Electricity bills will shrink? Is that a “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” type of promise?
DOT. A Senate appropriations panel is marking up its version of a 2015 spending bill, which will put some light on policy areas senators want to address at the Transportation Department (sub. req’d):
We should get a glimpse today of some policy areas senators want to address at the Transportation Department, as an Appropriations panel marks up its version of a 2015 spending bill that covers the DOT plus Housing and Urban Development. A House version ( HR 4745 ) could reach the floor for debate, amendments and votes next week.
Lawmakers are debating TIGER infrastructure grants, grant money for ports, funds for ferry services, and what to do with the Highway Trust Fund.
OBAMACARE. Reporters are still busy writing about the massive failures of Obamacare (sub. req’d):
At least 2.9 million Americans who signed up for Medicaid coverage as part of the health care overhaul have not had their applications processed, with some paperwork sitting in queues since last fall, according to a 50-state survey by CQ Roll Call.
Those delays — due to technological snags with enrollment websites, bureaucratic tangles at state Medicaid programs and a surge of applicants — betray Barack Obama’s promise to expand access to health care for some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
As a result, some low-income people are being prevented from accessing benefits they are legally entitled to receive. Those who face delays may instead put off doctors appointments and lose access to their medicines, complicating their medical conditions and increasing the eventual cost to U.S. taxpayers.